Anthony Minghella's 1996 film The English Patient won nine Academy Awards(TM), including one for Best Original Score. Though Gabriel Yared had previously composed scores for several films, including Betty Blue, Camille Claudel, and Vincent & Theo, his work on The English Patient launched him into international public consciousness. His score for this film testifies to the continued appeal of a classical, ncommercial style of scoring, eschewing the use of contemporary pop music for a more 'timeless' sound. In Gabriel Yared's The English Patient: A Film Score Guide, author Heather Laing offers the most in-depth examination to date of the work of the composer. Laing examines Yared's approach to film scoring, his compositional techniques and the impact of his partnership with Minghella before and after The English Patient-through an exploration of such films as The Moon in the Gutter, Betty Blue, Tatie Danielle, IP5, The Lover, City of Angels, and The Talented Mr. Ripley. The integral role of music in The English Patient is contextualized within a detailed analysis of the film's narrative construction, themes, and motifs. The soundtrack is examined as a whole, and the specific 'soundworlds' of each character, location, and relationship are drawn out as the basis for the overall style and construction of the score. Musical themes are viewed in both musical and narrative terms, and musical connections between the themes are identified. A close analysis of the placement and development of musical themes throughout the film reveals the complex musical journey that forms a unique and integral element of the characters.
Heather Laing holds a Ph.D. in Film and Television Studies from the University of Warwick. She has taught at the University of Warwick and Southampton Institute of Higher Education and is currently a freelance researcher and writer on film music and film studies.